Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

First date turn-offs

Texting on a date is a bad idea.<br />
Texting on a date is a bad idea. istock

For National Etiquette Week last May (who knew there was such a thing?), the dating site HowAboutWe reported on the “Top 10 Worst First Date No-Nos,” and what they found was spot-on. And as you’ll see in a recent News Channel 8 segment, I agree with all of them.

1. Having your phone out or texting

It doesn’t get worse than this. Nothing screams “I’m waiting for something better to come up” than a cell phone on the table waiting to be answered. A corollary to this one is actually answering your phone on the date. Try (as hard as it may be) to put your phone in your bag or your pocket for the entirety of the date.

2. First date sex

More coverage
  • You like me? You really like me?
  • The three-day rule or the three-hour rule?
  • The dating habits of Philadelphia
  • For men, it makes you look like you only want one thing (and maybe you do). For women, it makes you look easy.

    3. Talking about your ex

    If you say nice things about your ex, it looks like you’re still not over him/her. And if you say bad things, it looks like you’re still not over him/her and you’re bitter. Lose, lose. Plus, people don’t want to feel like they are being compared to someone else on the first date (or ever, for that matter).

    4. Being late (more than 15 minutes)

    People run late – it happens. But if it does, please call to let your date know before the start of the date. Texting is insufficient.

    5. Being rude (to a server)

    No snapping your fingers, no yelling for the waiter or waitress, and no treating the servers like second-class citizens. Red flag!

    6. Drinking too much

    People have a tendency to divulge secrets or commit dating no-no #2 (or likely both) when too much alcohol is involved. Don’t let it be you.

    7. Splitting the bill or letting the woman pay

    You remember the game of “pick-up check.” The guy should pay on a first date. Whether you like each other or not, it’s still a date after all, and chivalry is not dead.

    8. Work talk

    It’s certainly ok to discuss work, but not for the entire date, especially if you don’t like your job.

    9. Mother talk

    Leave your mom out of the date. Especially for men, it may make you look like a bit of a mama’s boy.

    10. Talking about marriage

    Great – you like each other! The last thing you want to do is to bring up marriage and scare the other person away. (The same goes for talking about, or naming, your future children.)

    A few others from the report were:

    - Bad breath

    - Not tipping well

    - Talking about yourself too much

    - Being “fake” or not being yourself

    - Smoking

    Are there any others you’d add to the list?


    Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people navigate the world of online dating. Her services include: writing unique profiles to get you noticed, helping to choose your best profile pictures, writing one-of-a-kind emails to get someone’s attention, and planning dates. A Little Nudge has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Talk Philly, Good Day Philadelphia, JMag (JDate's online magazine), and Ask Men. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

    Erika Ettin alittlenudge.com
    Also on Philly.com
    Stay Connected